Bullet Points: The Perfect Weapon (2016)
As much as I tried to project this movie into the amazing 1991 martial arts extravaganza starring Jeff Speakman, this version of The Perfect Weapon just wasn’t the same. In fact, this version of The Perfect Weapon seemed very familiar….
Synopsis: In the not so distant future, society is controlled by the powerful State and a dictator known as the Director (Steven Seagal). Condor (Johnny Messner) works as a hit man for the State, but a reunion with someone he thought was dead forces him to consider who his enemies really are.
- The Story So Far: As you’re watching The Perfect Weapon, one thing is abundantly clear; the four people given writing credit for this movie definitely saw the Christian Bale/Sean Bean movie Equilibrium. Normally that would make me happy because I think Equilibrium is a fantastic sci-fi action movie but it’s made less awesome by the fact that this film tries so hard to remake what made that Bale flick so great. It adopts a similar world. It’s a futuristic one in which the government (called simply The State here) controls almost every facet of society for the citizens “own good”. A growing movement of people are rebelling against The State now and everyone loves samurai swords!
- Helping Hands: The man who carries most of the action in The Perfect Weapon is action vet Johnny Messner. You may remember Messner from movies like Tears of the Sun, The Equalizer, and a bunch of other movies over the past 5 years. This time, Messner has a whole crew of recognizable actors to help him carry the load. Steven Seagal is a bigger player than I thought he would be but the two other names that surprised me when they showed up was Richard Tyson (Kindergarten Cop) and Vernon Wells!
- Hitman: Much like that bald bastard in the video games, Messner uses some silenced pistols and an angry sneer as he executes the will of The State. He doesn’t use much stealth or tactical knowledge but his work is no less effective. Messner’s Condor finally starts having a conscience after he runs into a lady of the night who reminds him of his old lady and he fails to kill her.
- The Future: This movie takes place in a future where a great war has turned everyone against freedom. It allows the government run by Steven Seagal to keep a young Asian love toy around while he swings katanas around teaching people about massage techniques. It’s a really strange future and I’m not really sure how a many like Seagal would have taken power in the first place.
- Ruuuuun!: Condor finds himself on the run from The State after he goes against orders to be reconditioned. Apparently he was some brain-washed killing machine and not just a guy with guns who walked into rooms and killed unarmed men. It seems like you could just pay someone to kill people without brain-washing them first but I guess that never crossed their minds. So Condor and his ladyfriend spend the movie on the run from The State by hiding in places they would never look….Condor’s apartment! If you ask me, he was only trying to get her back to his place. But, who could blame the guy.
- Well, Hello There: You may have noticed that I have included several pictures of a lovely young blonde actress. That actress is Sasha Jackson and she and I need to become friends! Jackson plays a former flame of Condor, thought to be dead, but whose presence greatly influences Condor’s decision making for the rest of the film. Jackson has the type of body that sculptors spend days carving into stone, and teenagers spend hours ogling over in the bathroom. Whatever your thoughts are of this movie by this point in the movie…
….it’s hard to argue that there is at least one good scene.
- The Action of the Future: Condor takes the action to The State but it was nothing to write home about. We finally get to see Seagal and his Aikido Matador gimmick but all he really gets over is that he’s a much better fighter than the man we’ve been calling a “killing machine” for the entire movie. Seagal adds insult to injury when he kicks the shit out of Messner and then tells him his girlfriend is a slut! Cold-blooded future Seagal! This movie could have used a good gun-kata scene…
The Verdict: The easiest thing for me to say to you would be to watch Jeff Speakman’s The Perfect Weapon instead of this one. If you’re watching it because you are a fan of Steven Seagal you may need to check yourself. Early Seagal is a masterpiece of violence and badassery but recent Seagal has been very sketchy. Fans of his recent work will appreciate most of what he has to offer, though. Seagal always slips in weird dialogue, strip club scenes, and samurai swords into all of his movies. What he doesn’t slip in as often is a coherent story or decent characters. This movie doesn’t actually have any likable characters. Condor is maybe the most boring of all and he never really understands what the rebels are fighting for. His reasons for his actions are purely selfish (he did it all for the nookie) and he never reaches anything close to an epiphany on what freedom means. I’m not asking for some Thomas Paine pamphleteering from the guy but it takes more than just revenge to overthrow a government. Skip it and watch Equilibrium instead.